US Formliner & LSU Students Explore the Versatility of Precast Concrete

The ability to participate in a process firsthand creates a level of appreciation that is difficult to achieve through passive learning alone. Recently, the upper-level architecture students at LSU had the pleasure of a hands-on workshop led by industry professional Layne Chastain from US Formliiner. Layne took the formliner instruction up a notch by inviting the future designers to roll up their sleeves, literally, and delve into the process of creating small scale, specialized formliners. The PCI Gulf South sponsored workshop included participants from Dr. Nikloufar Emami’s precast and stereotomy class. 

The students were given formliner master molds, each of which depicted a popular material used for building facades. The students were then instructed in formliner design and manufacture while using the molds to create small, multi-use formliners from urethane. 

The goal of the workshop was to share with the students the capabilities of concrete for building facades when using these types of formliners. The students were excited to learn of the potential for architects to achieve virtually any exterior appearance from concrete. Also discussed were the topics of commonly used formliners in the industry, creation of custom patterns using formliners and the advantages of using concrete as a durable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to more expensive facades.


After the students had the urethane poured into the molds, the discussion expanded into what factors need to be considered when specifying formliners and which materials are best for precast, CIP and tilt-up applications. The students were interested in cost and lead time necessary for the manufacture of standard formliners versus a custom pattern. The use of concrete and masonry stain to achieve highly realistic depictions of brick, stone, etc was also covered. At a later date, the student will mix and pour concrete samples from the urethane formliners they created in the workshop.

What are formliners?

Formliners are reusable forms and matrices that allow for the creation of patterns such as stone/brick/wood/stucco/abstract designs etc on concrete facades. The creative freedom formliners provide allow for unique product finishes.

Below are some images from RECKLI, partner of US Formliner, which shows a closer look at the different types of patterns possible from fromliners.

How are formliners made?


PCI Gulf South and LSU Architecture Department would like to thank US Formliner in Athens, GA for providing the materials and instruction and assisting in making this workshop possible. I special shout out goes to Layne Chastain for his contribution to this blog. Don’t forget to check out their work to see all the design possibilities of precast and how it can be used to meet your next projects needs!

This story was apart of our September 2019 newsletter. To read more from, click the button below!